Longniddry is to stage next year's qualifier for the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open.
The two-round event, supported by Aberdeen Standard Investments, the EventScotland team within VisitScotland and the European Tour, takes place on July 7 & 8 and will see four players secure spots in the $7 million Rolex Series event at nearby Gullane the following week.
An increased prize fund of £35,000 will also be up for grabs as Longniddry becomes the fourth venue after North Berwick, Moray and Kilmarnock (Barassie) to stage the exciting shoot-out that is also a PGA in Scotland Order of Merit event.
"The three Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open qualifiers so far have been a great success and we are looking forward to building on that when the event is held in 2018 at Longniddry," said PGA in Scotland secretary Shona Malcolm. "We are fortunate to be staging the event once again at one of Scotland’s top links courses, which always provide a true test of golf."
Club captain John McDougall added: “Longniddry Golf Club is delighted to be hosting the pre-qualifying event for the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open at Gullane in 2018. The course has a long history of hosting top events, including final qualifying for the Open Championship. This is a fantastic honour and opportunity for us to once again showcase the course that is considered a true test of golf among the wonderful links courses down the East Lothian Golf Coast.”
Kent-based Scot Craig Sutherland won the inaugural event at North Berwick in 2015, when the qualifiers also included North Berwick amateur Calum Hill. Ayrshireman Jack Doherty came out on top in Lossiemouth in 2016 before going on to secure a top-50 finish at Castle Stuart while West Linton PGA Pro Gareth Wright was last year's winner at Kilmarnock (Barassie).
"As a long-standing supporter of Scottish golf we are once again really pleased to be able to offer four up-and-coming Scottish golfers the chance to play in the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open through this popular qualifying event at a new venue in Longniddry Golf Club," said Martin Gilbert, Co-CEO of Aberdeen Standard Investments. "A big thanks must also go to all those at The European Tour, VisitScotland and The PGA in Scotland for supporting this event which will undoubtedly be a huge success and will begin a fantastic stretch of golf in Scotland for fans to enjoy next summer.”
Paul Bush, Director of Events at VisitScotland, added: “I am thrilled that through the support of our EventScotland team and other partners we are able to bring yet another great event to a fantastic venue in one of Scotland’s most renowned golfing regions. "Longniddry is an excellent example of the strength in depth of venues we have in Scotland, the Home of Golf and I’m sure it will prove a terrific host for the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open Qualifier.”
The criteria will be the exactly same as the first three years, with a field of 144 being made up of exempt PGA players plus other PGA members and assistant professionals that enter, assuming they have Scottish nationality under the PGA’s eligibility requirements or are currently employed at a golf club in Scotland. A number of amateurs will again be nominated by Scottish Golf while some sponsor’s invitations will also be issued.
"We’re delighted to once again partner with Aberdeen Standard Investments and Visit Scotland to support the qualifying event for the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open," said Peter Adams, Head of Championship Management at the European Tour. "This is a wonderful opportunity for up and coming Scottish golfers to give themselves the chance of playing alongside some of the best golfers in the world on home soil at Gullane Golf Club next summer, and we look forward to welcoming them."
Press Release: c/o Longniddry Golf Club